Welcome to the Writing Process Blog Tour!
My Wordsmith Studio writer-friend Gerry Wilson invited me to participate. Gerry is a native Mississippian and has completed two books: most recently Spirit Lamp, a work of literary historical fiction, and Whatever House (upmarket women’s fiction). She was also recently awarded a Literary Arts Fellowship by the Mississippi Arts Commission. Check her out! You can find her on Facebook, Twitter (@gerrywil), and Google+.
Now, on to the topic for this blog tour: Writing Process. The challenge is to answer three questions about my work:
What am I working on?
I’m pretty proud to say, I just wrapped up a first draft of what I consider my first real attempt at a novel. I started it in November 2013 for National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). The draft is a little over 83k which is the longest piece I’ve ever written. There are a couple of other “novel” attempts tucked away in my files; one has a chance of being finished someday while the other runs the risk of being deleted. I also write short fiction and am currently working on a couple of pieces for an upcoming anthology my local writing group, The Wicked Wordsmiths of the West, will be publishing later this fall. (Check back for updates on that!)
In the past year, I’ve branched out and tried a few new genres which is always fun. The draft I just finished is a fantasy piece.
Why do I write what I do?
I write what I write because I have to so all the characters running through my mind can have a place to come alive. I grew up in the country and there weren’t very many kids my age around so I had to use my imagination a lot. I’m one of those readers that can “see” the words come alive and it wasn’t long until characters, scenes, and situations started playing out in my mind that weren’t from books I was reading. It took me a while to figure out I could write down the things in my head and make them into stories. I also like writing about somewhat controversial issues (maybe because I like watching people argue over opinions they mistake for fact).
How does my writing process work?
I’ve found it varies. Some days I head to my local Starbucks, other days I’m propped up on pillows in my bed, other days I’m at my desk in my office. I write in Word when I’m at the computer. I have Scrivener, but can’t quite seem to get the hang of it.
I do listen to music. I listen to Enya almost exclusively. It doesn’t matter what scene or what mood, Enya is my go to music. I’ve found listening to other stuff distracts me and I don’t write as much.
I also have a small notebook I carry around with me to jot notes and ideas in. I use it when I do research too so it is a jumbled mess of stuff. I flip through it for ideas when I’m feeling stuck. I have a habit of jotting down potential story titles and I’ve found that months later when I go back and look at the titles I’ll sometimes have a completely different character or story come to mind. I think that is golden!
The two things I think are absolute musts for any writer: Read–everything. People Watch–take pictures if you can, this is great for character development.
The tour moves on!
I’ve asked the following writers to come aboard the tour. Do hop over and see what they’re working on and what wisdom they have to share:
Tobi Doyle MacBrayne in her own words: I was born in Massachusetts, grew up in California, went to school in Texas and raised my children in Indiana and West Virginia, and no, I’m not in a military family. I usually tell people I move around a lot because of credit fraud, but the truth is I take opportunities and I’m not afraid to try something new. I knew when I graduated from college that I wanted to raise a family. I really enjoyed staying home and raising the munchkins, and plan on titling my next book, “Hot Lunch Ladies, exposed…” Here’s the kicker, as a stay-at-home mom, you really are stuck when re-entering the workforce. I decided to go back to school to get more education, or maybe to just hide from growing up any further. I found myself walking the halls of Purdue and making up a story in my quiet time. My first quiet time in over a decade. Not that I don’t love the hectic life of being a mom, but my dear God, silence IS golden. For a while I now work as a science teacher, torturing adolescents with the knowledge of how plants have sex, however I discovered that the overprotective parents with perfect children didn’t enjoy I still find time to write in my own little imaginary world. Ok, really it’s on a laptop in the laundry room. You didn’t think I’d really escape the laundry did you?
Brent McGuffin in his own words: I’m a dreamer, reader, writer, believer, poet, singer, lover, fighter, baker, parent, packrat, hard worker, gamer, geek, Browncoat, webaddict, devoted friend, strong-willed, funny at times, sad at other times, creative, moviegoer, musiclover,caring, artsy, fidgety, giving, friendly, flirty, bit of wall flower, good listener, joker, wannabe world wanderer, superhero in my own mind, thinker, typist, nightowl, wordy, peoplewatcher, amateur therapist, an optimist with pessimistic leanings. I’m me.